Delaware December 16, 2017
It’s Impossible To Forget These 8 Horrific Winter Storms That Have Gone Down In Delaware History
These Delaware blizzards really took their toll on the state, crippling infrastructure, destroying the beaches, and leaving lasting impressions on everyone who witnessed their impressive power. Have you heard tales of the early 20th century blizzards or do you remember the most recent ones?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Blizzard of 1888
The Great Blizzard of 1888 from March 11 – March 14 was one of the most severe blizzards in our country's history. The "Great White Hurricane" completely paralyzed the East Coast. Snowfall amounts of 20-60 inches fell in Delaware, New Jersey, New York City, and New England. Telegraph infrastructure was down from Washington, D.C. to Boston — effectively isolating cities, towns, and states. More than 200 ships were grounded or wrecked, including many along the Delaware coast. More than 400 people died in the horrific blizzard.
2. Christmas Blizzard of 1909
Christmas Eve, 1901 was a sunny day that hit 40 degrees, and hopes of a White Christmas were seemingly gone. Overnight, however, a storm developed along the coast and from December 25-26th, nearly two feet of snow fell from Maryland, up through Philadelphia, and into New England. The northeast corridor was paralyzed for days. Transportation lines were so jammed up that the price of milk soared to an astronomical 15 cents for days following the storm.
3. The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962
During the first week of March 1962, the weather forecast was calling for some rain and some clear days. By Monday night, forecasters began to call for a mild Nor'easter. By daybreak Tuesday, meteorologists became aware that something historic was brewing. The storm rolled in quickly and did not clear out until Friday. Massive flooding devastated the Delaware coast and inland towns, and the "Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962" was the single most destructive storm in Delaware history.
5. Winter Storm "Jonas," January 2016
A strong nor'easter hit Delaware and the surrounding states in January, 2016. It caused massive flooding along the bay and in Lewes, and a man in Magnolia died. It was one of the first winter storms to be unofficially named (by the Weather Channel), and Winter Storm Jonas certainly left an impression on the state.
6. The Christmas Storm of 2009
A century after the 1909 Christmas Storm, Delawareans were snowed in again! Over a foot of snow fell in the first state, and kids everywhere delighted in being able to enjoy a white Christmas.
7. The Back-to-Back Storms of February, 2010
February 2010 was a wonderful month for snow lovers. From February 5th through February 10th, we were hit by two historic blizzards, beginning with one of the most destructive storms to ever dump snow on Delaware. 20-35 inches fell from Virginia up to New Jersey, crippling travel and even stopping rail service. Just a few days later, another storm came up the coast and dropped another foot or more of snow throughout the region, from Washington, DC to New York City.
8. The Blizzard of 1996
Twenty years before Winter Storm Jonas, an almost identical storm dropped several feet of snow over the Northeast. Some areas of Delaware were hit particularly hard, and the beaches experienced record flooding. It reminded many of the Blizzard of 1993, just three years prior, and the snow drifts were astronomical.
While all of these storms were horrific, none quite like that Ash Wednesday storm. To see some photos and hear more of how the storm destroyed the Delaware coast, read
A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Delaware In 1962… And No One Saw It Coming